Category Archives: Fiction

Horcynus Orca by Stefano D’Arrigo

This colossal book has required from its creator a colossal effort expended over almost twenty years. By the same token, anybody desiring to tackle Horcynus Orca will have to be ready to make a colossal investment in terms of both … Continue reading

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Pentothal (Le straordinarie avventure di Pentothal) by Andrea Pazienza

Andrea Pazienza, the prodigy of Italian comics, wrote the first instalment of his psychedelic debut The Extraordinary Adventures of Pentothal when he was just twenty-one.  The complete graphic novel, whose parts were published between 1977 and 1981, offers the unforgettable … Continue reading

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The Cotton Fortress (La forteresse de coton) by Philippe Curval

“The Cotton Fortress” or, more accurately, “the Cotton Castle” is the meaning of the Turkish name Pamukkale given to the thermal water resort famous for its snow-white travertine terraces formed by the calcium carbonide-rich springs over millennia. According to the … Continue reading

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Schattenfroh by Michael Lentz

What was it like to be THERE in 1851, when Moby-Dick was published? Or in 1913, when Swann’s Way came out? Or in 1922, when Ulysses crashed into our culture like a meteor and changed it forever? Or in 1955, when … Continue reading

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Return to Egypt (Возвращение в Египет) by Vladimir Sharov

Vladimir Sharov’s dense and voluminous novel, the winner of the 2014 Russian Booker Prize and a runner-up of the Big Book Award of the same year, is in many ways similar in its themes, ideas and obsessions with the much … Continue reading

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The Great Untranslated: Ostatnia powieść (The Last Novel) by Teodor Parnicki

In world literature there is a special category: the Great Unfinished Novel. It comprises such early-20th century classics as Robert Musil’s The Man without Qualities, Jaroslav Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk, Franz Kafka’s The Castle, and, from more recent times:  Ralph Ellison’s Three Days Before the Shooting … Continue reading

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Bastard Battle by Céline Minard

Céline Minard’s novel is written in a brilliant pastiche of Middle French speckled with amusing anachronisms. She has drawn inspiration from Jean Froissart’s Chronicles as well as Villon’s poems and Rabelais’ satirical pentalogy. The other major source of influence lies in … Continue reading

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Finisterra: Landscape and Settlement (Finisterra: Paisagem e Povoamento) by Carlos de Oliveira

Carlos de Oliveira’s brief novel is a thing of exceptional, exquisite beauty. It’s one of the rare cases when the expression “to paint with words” is not just a glib figure of speech, but the only possible way to characterise … Continue reading

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Forthcoming: Abel and Cain by Gregor von Rezzori

New York Review Books is going to publish Gregor von Rezzori’s novelistic diptych in all its toxic splendour. Joachim Neugroschel’s 1985 translation of the massive, controversial The Death of My Brother Abel (Der Tod meines Bruders Abel) has been revised by Marshall Yarborough for … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Simon Collings on Georges Limbour

Michel Leiris, writing in Atoll in 1968, described the writer Georges Limbour as: ‘a great poet in every heart-beat of what he wrote, but a poet without fanfare or vain display’. In ‘a society less gross than ours’ Leiris went on to … Continue reading

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